Murder trial hears scissors DNA matched accused

A partial footprint was found at Morningside Grove, Edinburgh. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
A partial footprint was found at Morningside Grove, Edinburgh. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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A FORENSIC biologist has told how DNA found on a pair of bloodstained scissors at a murder victim’s home matched that of her alleged killer.

Kirstie McTurk was speaking at the trial of Robert Buczek, 24, who denies murdering 85-year-old Eleanor Whitelaw in her Morningside home by stabbing her with scissors and beating her over the head in July last year.

Addressing the High Court in Glasgow, Ms McTurk said the blood on the scissors belonged to Mrs Whitelaw but she had found DNA on the handle matching that of Mr Buczek.

The jury heard that Mr Buczek’s DNA was also present on the cap of a bottle of Volvic water found in the hallway of the house.

Earlier, the court heard how a trainer seized from Mr Buczek’s home could match a bloody footmark found in the bathroom of the pensioner.

Forensic scientist Colum McCarthy said: “It was similar in terms of the pattern on the heel of the left training shoe. The left training shoe could have been responsible for the mark.”

He added: “Another shoe of similar pattern could also have been responsible.”

The forensic scientist had examined a pair of blue Nike Air Max trainers with orange soles taken by police from Mr Buczek’s Edinburgh home on July 28 last year.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said there would be many pairs of Nike running shoes but asked Mr McCarthy: “At least one candidate is that left training shoe?”

Mr McCarthy said: “That’s correct.”

Under cross-examination by defence QC Brian McConnachie, Mr McCarthy admitted that millions of Nike trainers were manufactured each year.

Mr McConnachie then asked: “You don’t know how many shoes have that pattern, do you?”

Mr McCarthy replied: “No.”

The court has heard that Mrs Whitelaw’s husband, Robert, 88, returned home from shopping and found his wife of 60 years lying on the floor covered in blood. She died in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on July 28, 2014.

Earlier, Polish builder Miroslaw Kapka, 46, told the court that he and his workmen – which included Mr Buczek – were working in a property round the corner from Morningside Grove in July.

He said Mr Buczek, a labourer, finished up on July 10, but said he came back on July 11 to collect his work clothes which he had left behind.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.